British electric car startup Arrival lists at $13 billion
Electric vehicle company Arrival has secured the highest ever valuation for a British company on its stock market debut, according to The Times.
The company completed its IPO through a SPAC merger with CIIC Merger Corp this week, and has now listed on the Nasdaq in New York with a current valuation of $13 billion, more than double its November valuation ($5.4 billion). It plans to use approximately in gross proceeds to ramp up delivery of its EVs and expand its global network of Microfactories.
Denis Sverdlov, Founder and CEO of Arrival said going public will allow it to continue to scale globally, bringing vehicles to more cities. Founded in 2015, Arrival, based between Bicester and London, is developing zero-emission electric vehicles for commercial use made from composite materials.
Arrival’s van is expected to begin public road trials with customers this summer, and the Bus is expected to start trials in Q4 with First Bus, one of the UK’s largest transport operators and leaders in sustainable mobility. Production for the Arrival Bus is expected to begin in Q4 and the Arrival an in the second half of 2022.
Instead of constructing one singular large plant, Arrival plans to build a network of microfactories close to the cities where vehicles are purchased. This enables decentralised production which can have benefits for local communities such as hiring local talent, paying local taxes and using the local supply chain. Arrival has already announced its first three Microfactory locations in Bicester, UK, Rock Hill, South Carolina, and Charlotte, North Carolina.
United Parcel Service (UPS) has already committed to purchasing up to 10,000 electric vehicles from Arrival, with the option to order up to an additional 10,000.
Businesses twice as likely as consumers to switch to EVs
Arrival's stock market debut coincided with The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders () calling for greater support for private retail uptake of EVs. New figures show that businesses are twice as likely as consumers to make the switch from petrol or diesel.
New car registrations in 2020 showed only 4.6 per cent of privately bought cars were battery electric vehicles (BEVs), compared with 8.7 per cent for businesses and large fleets. Overall, consumers registered 34,324 BEVs in 2020, compared to 73,881 corporate registrations.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “When every market is vying for these new technologies, a clear and collaborative strategy engaging all would ensure the UK remains an attractive place both to manufacture and market electric vehicles, helping us achieve our net zero ambition.”
SMMT estimates that there would need to be around 2.3 million public charge points in service by 2030 to provide adequate coverage and tackle range anxiety – meaning more than 700 new charge points would have to be installed every day until the end of the decade.
David Watson, CEO and founder of EV smart charging company Ohme, said the stark differences make it clear that consumers need to be urgently prioritised.
"Improved incentives and the building out of public charging infrastructure will prove crucial in addressing them. But to help make the transition to electric a feasible option for private consumers in the immediate term, the industry must look to smart charging technologies, which bring down the cost and complexity of electric vehicle charging.
"If we want to make the electric revolution a reality and meet our 2030 targets, we must remove the barriers to EV adoption for consumers and see smart technologies adopted at scale in the UK."
Sakuu Corporation creates 3D printer for EV batteries
Sakuu Corporation has announced a new industrial-grade 3D printer for e-mobility batteries which it claims will unlock the mainstream adoption of electric vehicles.
Offering an industrial scale ‘local’ battery production capability, Sakuu believes the technology will provide increased manufacturer and consumer confidence. Sakuu’s Alpha Platform for its initial hardware offering will be available in Q4.
Backed by Japanese automotive parts supplier to major OEMs, Musashi Seimitsu, Sakuu is set to enable fast and high-volume production of 3D printed solid-state batteries (SSBs) that, compared with lithium-ion batteries, have the same capacity yet are half the size and almost a third lighter.
The company’s KeraCel-branded SSBs will also use around 30%-50% fewer materials – which can be sourced locally – to achieve the same energy levels as lithium-ion options, significantly reducing production costs. Sakuu anticipates the 3D printer’s attributes being easily transferable to a host of different applications in other industry sectors.
"For the e-mobility markets specifically, we believe this to be a landmark achievement, and one that could transform consumer adoption of electric vehicles,” said Robert Bagheri, Founder, CEO and chairman, Sakuu Corporation. “SSBs are a holy grail technology, but they are both very difficult and expensive to make. By harnessing the flexibility and efficiency-enhancing capabilities of our unique and scalable AM process, we’re enabling battery manufacturers and EV companies to overcome these fundamental pain points."
The ability to provide on-demand, localised production will create more efficient manufacturing operations and shorter supply chains, he added.
Sakuu will initially focus on the two-, three- and smaller four-wheel electric vehicle market for whom the company’s SSB proposition delivers an obvious and desirable combination of small form factor, low weight and improved capacity benefits. The agility of Sakuu’s AM process also means that customers can easily switch production to different battery types and sizes, as necessary, for example to achieve double the energy in the same space or the same energy in half the space.
Beyond energy storage, Sakuu’s development of print capability opens complex end device markets previously closed off to current 3D printing platforms. These include active components like sensors and electric motors for aerospace and automotive; power banks and heatsinks for consumer electronics; PH, temperature and pressure sensors within IoT; and pathogen detectors and microfluidic devices for medical, to name a few.
"As a cheaper, faster, local, customisable and more sustainable method of producing SSBs – which as a product deliver much higher performance attributes than currently available alternatives – the potential of our new platform offers tremendous opportunities to users within energy, as well as a multitude of other markets," said Bagheri.
Ongoing research and new funding collaborations
Omega Seiki, a part of Anglian Omega Group of companies, has partnered with New York-based company C4V to introduce SSBs for EVs and the renewable sector in India. As part of an MoU, the two companies are also looking at the manufacturing of SSBs in the country, according to reports.
Solid Power, which produces solid-state batteries for electric vehicles, recently announced a $130 million Series B investment round led by the BMW Group, Ford Motor Company and Volta Energy Technologies. Ford and the BMW Group have also expanded existing joint development agreements with Solid Power to secure all solid-state batteries for future EVs. Solid Power plans to begin producing automotive-scale batteries on the company's pilot production line in early 2022.
"Solid-state battery technology is important to the future of electric vehicles, and that's why we're investing directly," said Ted Miller, Ford's manager of Electrification Subsystems and Power Supply Research. "By simplifying the design of solid-state versus lithium-ion batteries, we'll be able to increase vehicle range, improve interior space and cargo volume, deliver lower costs and better value for customers and more efficiently integrate this kind of solid-state battery cell technology into existing lithium-ion cell production processes."
A subsidiary of Vingroup, Vietnam’s largest private company, Vinfast has signed an MoU with SSB manufacturer ProLogium - which picked up a bronze award at the recent Edison Awards - to accelerate commercialisation of batteries for EVs (click here).
Xin Li, Associate Professor of Materials Science, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, is designing an SSB for ultra-high performance EV applications. The ultimate goal is to design a battery "that outperforms internal combustion engines so electrical vehicles accelerate the transition from fossil-fuel-based energy to renewable energy," according to The Harvard Gazette.
The dramatic increase in EV numbers means that the potential battery market is huge. McKinsey projects that by 2040 battery demand from EVs produced in Europe will reach a total of 1,200GWh per year, which is enough for 80 gigafactories with an average capacity of 15GWh per year.